We went to Bombay By Night for a friend’s birthday recently and I was quite interested to see what it was like since this restaurant has been on The Age Good Food Guide every year since 1996 (except 1998 and 1999, I don’t know what happened there).
The first thing we noticed about the place was the parking – situated on busy North Road in Caulfield South, only a small number of parking spaces were available off the side street. As we entered the nicely decorated restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who took us to our special room booked out for the occasion (since we had 16 people). Although a bit squashed, the room was tucked away in a cosy corner of the restaurant where we could enjoy our private (and sometimes very loud) conversations.
Nearly everyone ordered mango lassi’s (no picture though as I was busy greeting people), however, although quite sweet and nice, my lassi came out warm (I believe they forgot the ice).
Our orders took a while to come out because of the large quantity (we ordered most of the dishes beforehand via email) and the waiter seemed a bit stressed out at having to remember all the orders. Yuye and I ordered a Papadums and Chutneys ($5.50) as a starter as well as a Raita ($4) as an accompaniment. I like to eat my curries with these condiments because they make the curries sweeter and milder if it’s really chilli. I thought the mango chutney was not as mango as other restaurants and almost had a BBQ-sauceness to it. The papadums were great – crunchy and very herby, just how I like them (although I haven’t been to many places that got this wrong).
There’s a dish that we order without fail every time we visit an Indian restaurant – yes, you guessed it! It’s butter chicken or a.k.a. Chicken Makanwalla/Makhani ($17). I think one in two people on the table ordered this dish, which goes to show just how popular and delicious it is! It’s quite a mild dish so good for those who don’t have fired-up taste buds like some people. Bombay By Night’s version was very creamy and sweet, not as buttery and nice as the Classic Curry Company which I frequented a lot during my university days, but definitely one of the better ones I’ve had.
The second dish we ordered was the Desi Dahi Ghosht ($19.50) which I almost pronounced “Ghost” a few times :S. We wanted to try something other than the usual vindaloos and roghan joshs and since this dish tingled our tastebuds (how can lamb cooked in yoghurt with whole spices and flavoured with mint, fenugreek and cardamom not do that to people’s tastebuds?!) we settled for this dish. I was slightly disappointed with it though because I thought it was a bit on the bland side (contrasting that with all the fiery-hot curries on the table) but Yuye liked it. I swear it was also half the size of the other curries as you might be able to see from the shallow dish.
My favourite of the day was the garlic naan ($3.50 each), which I could have happily eaten 3 or 4 by myself just with some condiments. It was fantastically hot (as in temperature because it was freshly cooked) and garlic flavoured, not too thick/thin and perfect with the curries we ordered. You can even see the garlic sitting on top looking all juicy and screaming “eat me now!”.
We also tried some of the Beef Vindaloo ($16.50) which was extra hot and very authentic, order this if you dare!
The remaining photos I’ve put up are just food porn for your viewing since I didn’t get to taste everything on the table. It’s too wasteful to not upload good looking food . From left to right, the dishes were (I think), Navratan Korma ($15), Lamb Roghan Josh ($18.80), Chicken Mumbai ($16.80) and Cocktail Meat Kebabs ($6.80). All of these (except Chicken Mumbai) were on the set menu.
Overall a fantastic experience coupled with fantastic company. Bombay By Night is probably better for a smaller group (definitely not 16 people) as they seemed a bit stressed when we were ordering (probably not used to it), was a bit slow on serving and missed one beef vindaloo dish (which they did correct quickly). I do give them kudos for trying so hard to get it right though!
They also have a takeaway menu if you don’t feel like dining in. The one thing I wasn’t happy about was not ordering the mango kulfi dessert! Oh well, something to look forward to next time.
Bombay By Night
Phone: (03) 9578 6150
355 North Rd, Caulfield South 3162